gentle voice february 2015

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Jamyang Buddhist Centre Magazine


  • February 2015

    In This Issue

    Friends Scheme

    Q&A with Lama Yeshe

    This Month at Jamyang

    Geshe Tashi's column

    Geshe Tashi Teaches Superior Insight

    The Director's Column

    Lama Yeshe Memorial Day

    Heart Practices for Death and Dying

    Meditation for Beginners

    Changes to IMPG Dates

    Help - and Thanks

    Satellite Groups

    Tenzin Josh Teachings online

    What they did on their Holidays

    Art Refuge UK Exhibition

    Poetry Corner

    The Secret Life of......

    Tibet News

    Opportunities for Service around the FPMT

    About FPMT

    Your Thoughts for Gentle Voice

    Quick Links

    Jamyang Website

    Editor's welcome

    Dear friends,

    I hope you are all well and not too battered by the wind, rain and snow. If you are in the Southern hemisphere or the tropics, then I hope you are well and not too battered by the heat and sun. In fact I just hope you are not battered at all.

    A few months ago, it was actually the day Lama Zopa arrived in the UK, I was at the airport to greet him with a fairly large contingent of fellow students.

    As he left I turned to a friend and asked in a somewhat facetious manner - as is my wont - "So what is the meaning of life?"

    She turned to me, a blissful smile on her face from having seen Lama Zopa and just said one word.


  • Current Programme

    Talking Buddhism The Foundation Study Course The Lamrim Chenmo Study Course


    Become a Friend of Jamyang

    Help Jamyang stay afloat with a regular donation to the Jamyang Friends scheme. A regular donation is the best way to help keep Jamyang going. It's amazing how even modest contributions from a few hundred individuals can make all the difference.

    As well as the vast merit you will receive by helping to spread the Dharma, there are also some more worldly perks on offer, a free quarterly Mandala magazine, discounts, etc. So if you can spare around 15 a month to help us stay afloat we would be very appreciative. You can find all the information about the Friends Scheme and how to become a member by following this link.

    Jamyang Friends Sceme

    Alternatively you can make a one-off donation by following this link.

    Donate to Jamyang

    Many thanks!

    Return to Contents

  • Lama Yeshe Answers Questions

    In 1975 Lama Yeshe visited Australia and gave a series of talks that are published in 'The Peaceful Stillness of the Silent Mind'. Here we reproduce some of the questions and answers from those talks. Q. Well, how do you know whether what you're thinking is right or not? Lama. Observe carefully. Don't be satisfied with the way your superficial perception interprets things. That's what I keep saying. You have a thousand minds functioning within you. Every minute, every day, they're telling you, "This is good; no, try this; no, maybe this is good....." Many different minds arise: "I want this"; a minute later, "No, I want that." You get so confused. Observe, instead of immediately grasping at whatever your mind fancies the moment it fancies it. Your schizophrenic mind changes its opinion every minute; different ideas keep rushing into your mind; each one generates so much excitement that you grasp it immediately. That's what gets you into trouble. Therefore, instead of saying, "Oh, fantastic," the moment an idea arises, step back; observe. Check up the why and the how of that idea. Q. How do you check? Lama. Deeply; with wisdom. Checking ideas is not like an airport customs inspection. That is so superficial. The checking mind is the penetrative wisdom that sees through to the heart of all phenomena. Wisdom sees a lot more than just shape and colour. Q. What is the best way to control emotions? Lama. As I've been saying - with the silent mind. When you feel strong emotions arising, instead of getting busy, busy, busy, instead of nervously doing something, relax; try to be silent. There are many ways of doing this. Instead of letting your emotions run wild with your mind, unable to forget whatever it is that's bothering you, sit down, relax, and focus your mind on the flow of your breath - watch exactly how your breath flows into your nervous system on inhalation and out of it on exhalation. This is very simple. When you concentrate on your breath, you automatically calm down. This is living experience; it has nothing to do with religious belief. You're observing your own nature. As long as you're alive, you're breathing. So, just focus your full attention on the coming

  • and going of your breath and the way you feel. If you can do this, your emotions will automatically settle down and your fixations disappear. It's very simple and very practical. I can guarantee that if you watch your breath for just twenty-one cycles, your nervous emotions will vanish. I'm not making this up or exaggerating. It's people's experience. And to enjoy the benefits of this technique yourself, you don't have to identify with any religious group. Q. When I check, I see that things are coming from emotions like greed or fear, but what can I do about it? I know where they're coming from but they still keep coming. How should I handle that? Lama. That's a good question. The thing is you see the superficial emotion but you don't really see where it's coming from, the energy that causes it to arise. You don't see the deep origin of that emotion. It's like you are looking at a flower but cannot see its root. You say that you know where the emotions are coming from but actually you don't. If you really understood the root of problems they would disappear of their own accord. However, when you're in a situation where you're psychologically bothered the way that you describe, instead of obsessing over how you feel, focus instead on how the bothered mind arises. If you check up properly with introspective knowledge-wisdom, that troubled mind will disappear by itself. You don't need to drive it away by force. Just watch. Be wise and relaxed. Yours is a good question; many people have that experience. Deal with it by paying less attention to superficial emotion and whatever sense object might have precipitated it and looking instead deep into your mind to determine what's really making that emotion arise. Return to Contents

    CLASSES AND EVENTS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH AT JAMYANG Full information about these and all our events can be found here on the

    Jamyang Website

    CLASSES and RETREATS with GESHE TASHI Please note the changes to Geshe Tashi's December schedule Middle Length Lamrim Wednesdays until 18th March at 7:30 (note there is a class on 11 Feb, the website was incorrect) Teachings on Emptiness: middle length Lam Rim -Superior Insight Sat 7 and Sun 8 February and 7 March 10am - 5pm

    WEEK DAY EVENINGS AND AFTERNOONS Buddhist Meditation: Beautiful Minds Mondays to 30 March 7.30. Heart Practices for Death and Dying with Jo Gillibrand and John Bonell Tuesdays 3 Feb to 31 March 7:30pm. Meditation for Beginners with David Ford 5 Feb, 12 Mar 7.30pm Lunchtime Meditation

  • Great Prayer Day Thursday 5 March 8am - 5pm Shamata Morning Sunday 8 March 10am - 1pm Community Dharma Sunday 8 March 2 - 4 VISITING TEACHERS AND WEEKEND TEACHINGS Nyung Nay Retreat with Steff Hill Friday (7pm) 20 Feb to Monday 23(8.30am finish) Mind and Cognition with Tenzin Josh (can be taken as part of the Basic Programme) Weekends Sat 28 Feb & Sun 1 Mar, Sat 28 & Sun 29 Mar 10am - 5pm registered students only Vajrasattva Retreat with Venerable Robina Courtin Weekend Sat 21 and Sun 22 March 10am - 6pm PRACTICE GROUPS Insight Meditation Practice Group 14 Feb, 14 March, 11 and 25 April 10.30- 12.30pm Open to all (note changed dates) Guhyasamaja Practice Group Saturdays 28 Feb and 28 March, 11 April 2 - 5pm for initiates only Vajrayogini Practice Group Sundays 15 Feb, 12 April For initiates only Kalachakra Practice Group Sat 14 Feb, 14 March, 25 April 2 - 5pm For initiates only SPECIAL EVENTS Losar Anniversary of the passing of Lama Thubten Yeshe Lama Choepa Tsog Puja Thursday 19 February 7 - 9pm

    Thursdays 1 - 2pm Silent Meditation Thursdays weekly 6.15 - 7.15pm

    Tara Puja Tuesdays at 4.30pm Medicine Buddha Puja Tuesdays at 6pm COMMUNITY Community Dharma Sunday 8 March 2 - 4 Return to Tibet" slide show with renowned photographer Robin Bath Friday, 27 Feb. - 6.30 pm Chi Kung and Tai Chi Monday evenings taught by William Walker. For more information and to book call William (follow the link above) Satyananda Yoga Tuesday evenings taught by Judy Watchman For more information and to book call Judy (follow the link above)

    Gentle Vinyassa Flow Wednesday 6:00pm to 7:15pm Hridaya (Heart Centre) Yoga Taught by Naz Wednesday evenings 7.30pm For more information please call Naz (follow the link above) Chair Yoga Taught by Cathy Brebion Tuesdays 10.30am - 11.30am COMING SOON Easter Compassion Retreat with Geshe Tashi Good Friday 3 April, Sat 4 April (with

  • Great Prayer Day Thursday 5 March 8am - 5pm Please book for all weekend classes or retreats other than practice groups on-line if you can. If you can't call the office on 02078208787 or email You can drop in to all evening classes unless we state otherwise

    8 Mahayana Precepts), Sun 5 April (finishing with a shared lunch at 1pm) Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 8am - 5pm (precept lunch at 11.30am), Sun 9am - 1pm Sublime Continuum with Andy Wishreich 18, 19 April (can be taken as part of the Basic Programme) Return to Contents

    Geshe Tashi's column

    Hello Everybody,